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Couple charged with posing as federal agents to trick an undocumented immigrant into leaving the U.S.

August 6, 2010 |  5:09 pm


A Hemet couple have been indicted for allegedly tricking an undocumented immigrant to take a plane back to her native Philippines by claiming that they were enforcing a fugitive warrant issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Gregory Raymond Denny Jr., 38, and his wife, Karen Evon Denny, 52, allegedly handcuffed the victim, Cherriebelle Magada Gabalonos Hibbard, and said they were taking her to San Diego's Lindbergh Field to be deported, according to a federal indictment unsealed Friday in San Diego.

Gregory Denny, a former bounty hunter, told Hibbard that he was a U.S. marshal and showed a badge and credentials when he came to Hibbard's home in Hemet, according to the indictment.

When Hibbard balked, the Dennys warned that she and her husband could be sent to prison for five years, according to the indictment. The husband then purchased an airline ticket and the Dennys allegedly escorted her to the plane.

The charges include kidnapping, conspiracy, impersonating a federal officer and making false statements to a federal officer.

The incident alleged occurred Jan. 15. The couple are in jail in downtown San Diego and slated to be in court Monday.

No motive is mentioned in the indictment but the incident may have involved a family feud. Denny is reportedly a cousin of Hibbard's husband. Hibbard has not returned to the United States.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Gregory Raymond Denny Jr.

Credit: Hemet Police Department